G8 countries support GPH, MILF peace efforts PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2014 11:12

Three member-states of the Group of 8 (G8), comprised of highly-industrialized nations, assured to continue extending support to the Mindanao peace process even after the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

Ambassadors Asif Ahmad, Toshinao Urabe, and Philip Goldberg of the United Kingdom, Japan, and the United States of America, respectively, have all expressed optimism on the prospects of the CAB, which was signed by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Malacañang on March 27, 2014.

The countries each of  the three envoys represent are members of the G8.

The CAB, which is the final peace agreement between the GPH and the MILF, compiles all together the various accords crafted by the two parties in their 17 years of negotiations, among them the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and its four annexes.

“The CAB is a truly Filipino solution to the conflict that will not just bring benefit to Mindanao but to the country as a whole, and of which all Filipinos can be proud,” Ahmad said.

Ahmad said he is certain the Bangsamoro has the opportunity to achieve “best practices” other countries with history of strife can emulate, including a showcase on roles of women in peace processes.

The GPH peace panel that crafted, along with the MILF, the vaunted March 27, 2014 CAB is led by a woman — Miriam Coronel-Ferrer.

Urabe, for his part, said the Japanese government commends the efforts of the GPH and the MILF, and hopes that the CAB will give impetus to the quest for peace and development in Mindanao.

“The government of Japan welcomes this development and will continue to support the peace process for the benefit of all in the Philippines,” he said.

Japan plays a big role in the International Monitoring Team (IMT) and the International Contact Group (ICG), which are both support mechanisms of the GPH- MILF peace process. The ICG is composed of international donor organizations and peace-building entities helping push the GPH-MILF peace efforts foward.

“With the signing of the CAB, we encourage both sides to seize this opportunity and commit to its full implementation.  The road to peace can be long and difficult. Success requires commitment from both sides, international support and inclusion of all those who have a stake in a lasting peace,” Goldberg, the US envoy to the Philippines, said.

He said the United States will remain as a major development partner in Mindanao.

“We believe the CAB can benefit the people of Bangsamoro, and all Filipino citizens,” he added.

Catherine Ashton, European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, also assured of the EU’s continuing support to the Mindanao peace process even after the signing of the CAB.

“The European Union, as a long- term supporter of the peace process in Mindanao, will continue to lend its full support to the implementation of this agreement,” said Asthon, who is also vice president of the vaunted European Commission.

The EU has representatives in the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team (IMT), which is helping enforce the government-MILF July 1997 Agreement on General Cessation of Hostilities in potential flashpoint areas in Southern Mindanao.

The IMT is comprised of soldiers and police officers from Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, and Libya, and non-uniformed socio-economic and political experts from Japan, Norway, and the European Union.